Cabo is a rescue dog with no eyes.
Adopted by his family from a shelter, Cabo didn’t go blind until around three years in his forever home due to an auto-immune disease.
If you would like to learn how we got 1 million TikTok followers in a month, check out our latest YouTube video here.
Although this came as a blow to Cabo and his owners, this courageous dog has now become an advocate for “adopt don’t shop” in the USA.
In fact, Cabo is one of the most popular dogs on TikTok with nearly three million followers on the video-sharing app.
With a loyal and passionate fanbase, Cabo has received nearly 35 million likes on his videos on TikTok.
In the start of our 50 TikTok pets in 50 days series, we spoke to Cabo’s owner Jared about being blind, his role as an advocate for rescuing dogs and his success on social media.
You can follow Cabo the Blind Doggo on TikTok by clicking here.
1) Can you tell us how you ended up with Cabo?
We got Cabo about six years ago. I really wanted a dog and convinced my parents to take me around to all the local rescues. We found Cabo at one rescue and knew he was the perfect fit for our family. We weren’t able to get him right away though because there was another couple that had an appointment to meet him. The employees at the rescue told us that they would meet the other couple and decide who would be a better fit for Cabo, so not only did we pick Cabo but we were also chosen as the best fit for him. When we got him a couple days later we took him straight home so he could explore his new home.
2) Was Cabo blind when your first adopted him or did it happen over time?
When we got Cabo he had perfect vision. It wasn’t until about 2-3 years later that he started to run into things and that is when we noticed his eyes were starting to get cloudy. After taking him to the vet they really said that there was nothing they could do except put him on medication to slow the Auto-immune disease (VKH) that was causing it. It continued to get worse and eventually started to cause him pain to the point where he would try to paw at his eyes. That is when they gave us two options. Euthanize him or have his eyes removed. At the time we really didn’t know what to do. We didn’t want to keep him around if he was going to continue to be in pain or if he wouldn’t be able to live a happy life. The specialized vet reassured us that dogs with no eyes (dogs that are completely blind) do very well and adapt quickly. We trusted the Vet and decided to go ahead with the procedure to have his eyes removed.
3) What is Cabo’s personality like?
Cabo has a very mellow personality. I would describe it as kind of like an old soul. He is totally fine with laying on the couch or in bed with you all day. At the same time he’ll go on a run/walk with you whenever. He loves boats and cars. He absolutely loves the sun as well (heat in general). He will bake out on the back patio and will settle for in by the fire as well. We constantly have to get him inside or away from the fire cause he would do that all day if we let him. All around he’s just a very happy dog that sticks by your side through everything.
4) What is a typical day like for Cabo?
Cabo’s typical day is send everyone off to work and school. Stay home with Grandma and keep her company. Then accompany mom when she comes home for lunch and beg her for more treats. Then nap for a couple hours wait for the rest of the family to get home. Go on a walk if it’s not raining (he hates the rain). Then relax in the living room and kitchen with the whole family as they make dinner and watch T.V. He loves family time and as long as he senses everyone is home he is a very calm and relaxed. But if someone is missing Cabo will not stop pacing till they get home and he knows they are safe.
5) What are the unique challenges of owning a blind dog?
The unique challenges of owning a blind dog are hard to come up with because until you see someone with a sighted dog walk your blind dog you don’t realize them. Recently this happened with friends. We walked and they held on to Cabo’s leash and you realize just how much Cabo depends on us outside of the house to guide him. We let him know when to step up and down off the curb, when to “stop” if he’s about to hit something, and which direction he should go to stay on the path. In the outside world, he is very dependent but he has adapted well to our commands and does very well. At home, Cabo thrives. He knows the house inside and out whether it’s the backyard or the living room he knows exactly where he is at all times and is very aware of his surroundings. We just do our part to make sure furniture doesn’t move and chairs are pushed in. But the challenges of a blind dog are very minimal compared to the challenges of his other health problems that come from his specific auto-immune disease that caused the blindness.
6) What are the common questions you get asked about Cabo?
“How does he see?”
“How does he sleep?”
But then there are the more understandable questions like:
“How did he lose his eyes?”
“How does he do getting around the house?”
A lot of people who follow Cabo’s story are always worried about asking questions because they don’t know if it’s offensive or not and they are always saying, “sorry if that’s rude”. I wish people weren’t so worried about asking questions because that’s why we are here on social media is to raise awareness about dogs like Cabo and to answer the questions that people have. Although I get asked the same 10 questions everyday on repeat, I am always willing to answer. I usually don’t answer questions through comments because if I did I would let have a life but we do live streams and I answer questions there.
7) How does it feel to have nearly 3 million followers on TikTok?
It feels amazing. It’s so nice to know that people see and Cabo and are so interested that they take the time to follow him and watch his videos. It has all happens so fast (within 8 months) that I still haven’t had time to process all of it. What I do know is that we are making a difference, we are inspiring people to adopt and not shop and we are educating people on how dogs with disabilities can still be that great family dog you have always wanted and that they don’t need to be put out of their misery. They can still live a happy fulfilling life just like any other dog.
8) What inspired you to start a TikTok for Cabo in the first place?
Honestly I started a TikTok for Cabo because I was too scared to make TikToks of myself. And I’m glad I was because it has turned into something much more meaningful and much more beneficial to the world. I’m so glad that Cabo has been able to inspire and educate so many it really does make you feel like you have made a difference in the world and been a voice for the voiceless.
9) What is your favourite video or your most popular video that you’ve posted of Cabo?
Some of my favorite videos are the ones where we went off script and did something original compared to copying other people’s ideas which is a lot of what TikTok is. One of my favorites though is our very first video, where I’m hiding from Cabo behind a tree in the backyard and Cabo comes up to me sniffing the ground and then at the end lifts his head up and looks right at me. That was our second ever video and our very first “viral video”. It got 100,000 likes in under 24 hours.
10) What are the advantages of TikTok over Instagram?
TikTok is much easier to “blow up” on. Like I said our second video went viral on TikTok compared to Instagram where it take hundreds of posts to build even a small following. TikTok has so much opportunity and is much more diverse in the type of content that is successful on the app compared to Instagram.
11) Do you prefer to plan out your videos or do more spontaneous content?
We do a mix of both. Sometimes I plan out the videos but for the most part we just go with the flow. I see a sound that I think would be a good fit for Cabo so I grab the treats and get clips of Cabo doing his things or I see Cabo doing something funny or cute and I try to recreate that and film it.
12) Has TikTok opened any other doors or created any cool opportunities for you and Cabo?
TikTok has opened a lot of doors. I was recently invited to attend the WestMinster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City to film some content for them. We have been able to meet a lot of amazing people within the community of doggie social media influencers and some amazing people within the community of rescue and disabled dogs. It has been an amazing experience so far and we can’t wait for what is to come.
13) What other TikTok accounts do you draw inspiration from or recommend to our readers?
Well there are many that we draw inspiration from. I would say the main group of influencers we draw from are in the TikTok group HoundHouse. This is a group we started after making connections with a lot of the dog influencers. We have such a diverse group of dogs and all of their individual accounts are amazing. I would also say that Bear.The.Blind.Pit was a huge inspiration for us on TikTok and Instagram because Cabo and Bear have such similar stories being rescues and losing their eyes, but there are many more and I would encourage anyone who loves dogs to get on TikTok and start following some dog accounts because there is content on there you just can’t find anywhere else.
14) What are the pros and cons of TikTok?
The pros are that is easy to use, easy to blow up on, and is overall a very simple app.
The cons are that TikTok is not great at working with Influencers which in some ways makes sense because it is such a new app that has blown up so fast, and they have gotten better a bit, but I would love to see more contact with the people at TikTok especially in the pet influencer community.
15) Tell us your funniest Cabo story please.
The funniest story I can think of is when we first got Cabo. My dad didn’t want Cabo on the couches or beds because he didn’t want fur everywhere. He made that very clear before we even decided on Cabo. So when we brought Cabo home on the first day my dad went and sat down on the couch, and immediately Cabo jumped up into his arms and laid on him. My dad of course wasn’t going to make Cabo get down so he let him stay and ever since then Cabo has been sleeping on my parents bed and napping on the couch all day. It became an even funnier story later on because we found out that Cabo really isn’t even that big of a cuddler, he prefers to lay by you not on you so he knew how to get his way from the very beginning.